Ian McKellen Sexuality: Who Is His Husband? Details About His Net Worth & Personal Life

Is Ian McKellen Gay? Let's learn about his personal and professional life through this article. 

As one of the first high-profile actors to come out publicly in the UK, Sir Ian McKellen has not just broken multiple stereotypes but continued to win fans to this day with his talent and body of work. The British actor is one of the most respected men in the entertainment industry.

Sir Ian McKellen is an openly gay British personality and global star who has been a prominent advocate for LGBTQ+ rights for many years. A vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, he has also advocated for same-sex marriage. 

McKellen has spoken openly about the challenges he faced as a gay man in the entertainment industry and how he felt compelled to hide his sexuality for many years. He has been a role model and inspiration to many in the LGBTQ+ community for his courage and honesty in speaking out about his own experiences.

How Did Ian McKellen Come Out In Public About His Sexuality?

Many fans will be surprised to know that Sir Ian McKellen came out in 1988 during a radio interview with BBC Radio. He was in his fifties and already had a long successful theatre career and some television hits. At the time, there were a lot of stigmas attached to being queer.

A photograph of Ian McKellen by Frederic Aranda
A photograph of Ian McKellen by Frederic Aranda. (Source: Instagram @ianmckellen)

In interviews, McKellen has spoken about the positive responses he received from many fans after coming out. He received many letters and messages of support. In addition, he was often approached by people who thanked him for being an inspiration and a role model. 

However, not all reactions were positive. Some people, including some of his colleagues and fellow actors, were critical or dismissive of McKellen coming out as gay. He often faced discrimination and prejudice in his personal and professional life.

Why Did Sir Ian Choose Reveal His Sexuality?

McKellen has said that he chose to come out to the people because he did not want to hide his sexuality or be a part of a culture of secrecy around being gay. He had hoped that coming out would help to combat negative stereotypes and misconceptions about LGBTQ+ people. 

Ian McKellen on the cover of The Observer Magazine.
Ian McKellen on the cover of The Observer Magazine. (Source: Instagram @ianmckellen)

In a 1988 interview with The Advocate, McKellen said:

I'm out. And I'm very pleased about that. I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I think it's good for the political side of things... The more people come out, the better. It's just safer that way. And people will see that we don't have the stereotyped ideas about being gay that they might have had.

Also, know about the openly gay actor Wilson Cruz who played Rickie Vasquez in the teen drama, My So-Called Life. 

When Did Sir Ian Know His Sexuality? How Was The Reaction?

According to sources, Ian McKellen knew about this important part of his self-identity from a young age. Furthermore, when he was a minor, there was not much education on these topics and even the word 'gay' was not mainstream. 

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart kissing each other in the premiere of "Mr. Holmes".
Ian McKellen and his longtime friend, Patrick Stewart, kissing each other in the premiere of "Mr. Holmes." (Source: Facebook)

Due to the lack of understanding, Ian was called an 'Oscar' in his school years, a slur referring to Irish playwright and author Oscar Wilde who was a known gay. He was mocked for being effeminate or a deviant for his sexuality. He has chosen to reclaim the name 'Oscar' and has used it in his theatre career.

What Was The Backlash About A Gay Gandalf?

McKellen played the role of the great wizard Gandalf from the Lord Of The Rings franchise and the Hobbit Franchise. He played the role from 2001 to 2014 in many movies. 

McKellen's performance was widely praised, and the films went on to become some of the most successful and acclaimed movies of all time. His portrayal of Gandalf is also considered one of his most iconic roles.

Despite the great talent McKellen showed, there were some who criticized the casting of an openly gay actor in the role. There were homophobic suggestions that McKellen's sexuality was at odds with the character of Gandalf, who is depicted as a wise and powerful wizard in Tolkien's novels. 

But Sir Ian is not without his supporters. His fans pushed back against these criticisms, arguing that an actor's sexuality is not a disadvantage or a weakness. McKellen himself talked about the issue, saying that he believes an actor's job is to play a role to the best of their ability, regardless of their personal life. 

Was McKellen Snubbed At the Oscars For Being Gay?

There is no evidence to suggest that McKellen was snubbed at the Oscars specifically because of his sexuality. While it is true that he has not won an Academy Award for acting, there is no doubt about his talent.

Ian McKellen getting ready as the "Mother goose".
Ian McKellen is getting ready as the "Mother Goose." (Source: Instagram @ianmckellen)

It is indisputable that Sir Ian McKellen is one of the greatest actors of his time. He has played many amazing roles and was nominated for the Oscars twice. He was nominated for Best Actor in the 1998 film Gods and Monsters and for Best Supporting Actor in the 2001 film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

However, Ian has never won the prestigious Oscar and sometimes missed even being nominated. In a 2018 interview with the Guardian, he talked about the problem of racism and homophobia in Academy Award voters. He was very clear that he felt the lack of inclusion was a direct result of the prejudice in the Oscar voters.

Did Ian McKellen's Boyfriend Die Of AIDS? Know About His Romantic History

There is a possibility that McKellen told the public about a previous relationship that lasted fourteen years, which ended when his boyfriend died of AIDS in 1988. The rumored interview is alleged to be a 2017 interview with The Times when he was promoting his one-man show Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You, but there are no online records available. 

The 5 ft 11 inches tall actor, Ian McKellen, has never been married to date. However, he has been in long-term and short-term romantic relationships with other men. His current romantic partner remains unknown, with many stating that he is currently single.

Ian McKellen and his former boyfriend, Sean Mathias.
Ian McKellen and his former boyfriend, Sean Mathias. (Source: The Mirror)

One of the most notable relationships Ian had was with a relationship with director Sean Mathias, who he was involved with for several years in the 1980s and 1990s. They sadly could not cope with the publicity they faced and decided to split up but have remained close friends.

Also, the eight-year relationship Ian had with Brian Taylor has been a buzz topic on the internet. Brian was known as his first public boyfriend and was mentioned in McKellen's interviews and later in his memoir. In his memoir, McKellen said:

Our relationship (with Brian) had been a source of such joy and comfort for me, but over time we had grown apart... The breakup was painful and difficult, and it left me with a sense of sadness that stayed with me for years. 

What Is The Net Worth Of McKellen?

Ian McKellen has an estimated net worth of $60 million, mostly from his prolific acting and theatre career. Not much is known about his assets and real estate holdings but Ian did buy houses in Camberwell Grove and in Limehouse, according to his personal website.

McKellen has also made a lot of substantial donations to many worthwhile causes such as LGBTQ advocacy, homeless youth, and theatre companies. In addition, he once a huge sum to support drama students at the University of Cambridge.

McKellen's charitable donations are estimated to be over $5 million and he is a part of many charities, such as Stonewall UK and Albert Kennedy Trust.


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